Lion Stout | Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,623 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Lion StoutLion Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
Sri Lanka
lionbeer.com

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The dark caramel, large dense headed brew, with its 8.8% alcoholic content, is unique due to its sweet notes of chocolate and coffee interspersed into a foundation of dark roasted barley. Symbolic black to denote leadership, power, focus and strength, is dominant in the labeling as the lion journeys in the twilight unafraid, unbowed and unchallenged.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-28-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,623
Reviews:
904
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
11.7%
 
 
Wants:
80
Gots:
145
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 1,623 |  Reviews: 904
Photo of CUBeerBuff
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of moshea
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of MadeInOregon
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What the heck is Sri Lanka doing making beer like this?! I guess colonialism has had SOME good lasting legacies afterall...

THE APPEARANCE of the Lion Stout is the most surprising aspect of this beer: Thick, frothy lacing follows a dense, mocha-colored head, atop a completely opaque black body. Little yeast is left in the bottle when poured out, and subsequently a good amount clings to the sides of the glass and eventually makes its way to the bottom. This stout looks very malty and chewy, and could easily pass for a big, imperial stout or a barrel-aged brew.

THE SMELL, when cold, is very faint...almost zero. After it warms a lot, I picked out cocoa, big alcohol aromas, and little hops. There are strong Kahlua, sherry, and port qualities to this beer when fully warmed--it's just a shame it takes so much patience to bring out the aromas.

THE TASTE is good, just as I remember from the other times I've had it in the past. Like the smell, the taste is heavily muted and tame when cold so it really needs to warm. I found room temp to actually be the point at which I could really get a sense of everything this beer has to offer: rich, sweet, mocha, cocoa. To me, it tastes like an oatmeal stout with strong barleywine qualities. It has a dry finish and a slight wineyness to it, which are interesting for a stout.

THE FEEL is medium-thin and fairly hot for a stout, due to the high alcohol content. It is incredibly warming and despite being unusually strong for a basic stout it is very drinkable.

CONCLUSION: Lion Stout looks massive but is actually a little underwhelming considering so much of its nature is masked until you hit about 55 degrees in temp. It is a good stout and certainly should be enjoyed for that. However, this is not an "extreme" beer in the American craft beer sense so it will be a let down if approached in that way.

 1,860 characters

Photo of ndekke39
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a 12 oz bottle of this on New Year's Eve (early in the evening). No freshness date on the bottle. Poured an opaque black with a thin white head. Interesting smells of burnt toast (though it wasn't bad) and dark, dark chocolate. Tastes of toasty barley, the dark chocolate, and even light hints of coffee. Medium creaminess - I prefer stouts to be a little thicker, but this was good. Fairly high ABV %, but the alcohol didn't cut through the taste. A great beer, easy to sip.

 479 characters

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-02-01. Served in snifter.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle with freshness date printed on the bottle (Best before September 2009).

Appearance: The pour is basically jet-black - held up against the light it reveals only small deep red hues. The liquid seems clear. The head is about 3 cm - bigger than expected and certainly bigger than many stouts - and its color is one shade darker than your ordinary cappuccino. It's a very thick and creamy head - almost reminiscent of a nitro-carbonated brew - and it stays for a while before settling into a ring of lacings. I must say, this beer looks very good.

Smell: Some quite powerful aromas of dark fruits - mostly black currants - and milk chocolate hit the nose. Plenty of roasted malts and coffee are there as well. A faint nutty aroma - perhaps of cashew nuts of almonds - finishes off the smell, which I enjoyed quite a bit, of this one.

Taste: More dark fruits and notes of ripe red apples blend with molasses for a big sweet flavor. Roasted malts are also rather assertive. There is also a somewhat unusual chocolate character present - consisting of a mix of both bitter and sweet chocolate flavors. In the slightly bitter finish, there is a small twang from the alcohol, a sweet taste of toffee and gentle hops. Towards the end, when the beer warms up, the chocolate flavor becomes more prominent. Overall, this one tastes good, but not extraordinary. It has a nice balance between some of the usual flavors found in a stout, and some flavors are even quite big and powerful - almost trying to enter the domain of imperial stouts.

Mouthfeel: Heavier on the carbonation and a bit livelier than I had anticipated. Semi-full (not medium though) body. Towards the end, it gets a little smoother.

Drinkability: This is a very good beer, but as already noted, not extraordinary. It looks and smells really good - the smell actually outweighs the taste, which is a bit of a disappointment. Somehow, it feels smaller than it actually is - the alcohol hides really well - but I don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. However, irrespective of this, it's highly recommended and I would definitely try it again if it was offered to me, but I wouldn't make any huge efforts trying to get a hold of it.

 2,283 characters

Photo of REY_CORTEZ
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of packetknife
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was underwhelmed with this beer. I was expecting more. Its got strong hints of chocolate and smells slightly burnt. It's thinner than it looks but still have a good feel. An ok beer but I wouldn't make it a habit.

 215 characters

Photo of Josh012012
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Augustiner719
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml can with a best by date of Jan 2013 into a tulip glass.

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black color with a nice 2 finger tan, cappuccino colored head that recedes quickly to leave a film across the top of the beer. The aroma is dark bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans and some molasses and brown sugar notes. On the palate this beer shows the 8.8% with a slight warming sensation that plays nicely with the strong flavor profile of the beer. The flavors i get are burnt sugar, molasses, black stale coffee and a hint of cream. Very roast and malty with a surprisingly refreshing dry finish that leaves traces of hop bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is dry, slightly astringent and has a much thinner body than i expected. Overall, this might be a "summer" stout as it is bordering on imperial in my book with this ABV. I used to pass this up all the time in the states but now that I am in a beer wasteland in Switzerland, this made its way into my fridge. Worth a shot.

 1,013 characters

Photo of drxandy
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

625ml to tulip glass, pours a deep dark opaque black/brown with a hint of red in light, creamy tan head retains excellently eventually fading to lacing

smells of plums, raisins, brown sugar, yeastly goodness, smells sweet and complex

taste is of sweet dark fruit at the start blending into chocolatey depth and wonderful complexity, almost sherry like, malts are solid, roasty and complimenting the sweetness, licorice, coffee presence, alcohol is present but masked well.

mouthfeel is slightly bitter, roasty, sweet, low carbonation, very nice indeed

paired with scharffen berger 70% cacao dark chocolate wonderfully :D

 624 characters

Photo of VinsanityDiesel
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of markaberrant
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours jet black in the glass. Moussy, tan head holds up quite nicely. Leaves some splotchy lacing.

S - unique for a foreign stout - you've got your basic roast, but also some interesting earthiness, tobacco and smoke.

T - Smoky, sweet dense malt to start. There are all sorts of complex earthy, roasty flavours that really round things out. Long roasty finish with more smoke. As the beer warms, the malt sweetness becomes more evident and brings some dark fruit flavours to the forefront, while the roast and smoke fall into the background.

M - creamy, mouth filling, but not thick. Gentle carbonation, soothing alcohol is mild. Just about perfect for the base beer.

D - I'm hella impressed with this one, wish I had bought more than just a 6-pack.

Never heard of this beer until I saw it sitting on a shelf in Fargo, ND. I did a quick BA search via my phone in the store, and saw it had solid reviews, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

This kicks the crap out of anything I've tasted from England or Ireland in terms of a Foreign or even Imperial Stout. The smoke doesn't dominate, but it's presence is certainly obvious and blends in quite well. What makes this stout stand out from the others is the smooth, complex flavours that are still bold... I find the "bold" part to be missing from most "classic" examples. Incredible stuff.

 1,346 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon seeing the country of origin and the bottle’s bible black contents —I had to experience this stout from Ceylon.

It cascaded into my glass producing an immediate dense off tan head which fueled my curiosity as to this beer's meritorious profile.

The head arose, flourished and then retreated to whence it came leaving little trace but a scant bevel of foam clinging to the perimeter of my glass.

This beer presented a small perhaps non-existent nose.

On first tasting, this dark full bodied stout produced a starburst of flavor-- predominant hops, notes of chocolate, toasted grain, a sprite of coffee.

Unfortunately the flavor was a rather curt performance-- a blaze of glory and then—the hole in the middle head heralded what was to come. Under the gusto of the start, the body was lacking-- there was something oddly transparent—maybe the right word is “nonexistent”.

The finish was clean and short. I wasn’t surprised as it trailed along with it’s precursor-- the vestige of the initial flavor.

Nevertheless this beer has a rather cordial mouthfeel and although the flavor endurance in my opinion leaves something to be desired, it is nonetheless an enjoyable experience.

 1,210 characters

Photo of intovert2438
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of flipper2gv
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Nice very dark black ale with a small light brown head that disappear fast.

S: Everything that you expect. Some coffee and dark chocolate. Vanilla is also present. A little bit of smoke smell and some dark fruits coming from the alcohol.

T: Smoke coming upfront which is kinda surprising since it was a bit weak in the smell. Roasted taste comes in, coffee and almost no chocolate flavour. Some raisins are present too. Definitively a very nice tasting stout. But, there's a strange acid aftertaste that is "meh".

M: Mid to low carbonation. Mid to high mouthfeel. Nicely done here too.

D: mid to low. It warms a lot for such and ABV. I've seen stouts with higher ABV having the alcohol feel much more hidden. Might get tired of the taste after some of these.

 765 characters

Photo of trbergman
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

625mL bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Dark chestnut brown body with one inch of fluffy, cinnamon head.

S - Milk chocolate, roast barley, molasses.

T - Rich, malty chocolate, roasted nuts, a bit toasty, with no detectable hop flavor and moderate hop bitterness. Long, balanced finish.

M - Smooth, creamy, full body.

D - Hides alcohol very well; easy drinking. I wish it were a little more interesting, though.

 413 characters

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: nice opaque super dark brown/black that is totally opaque; copious frothy head that leaves light lace

s: light coffee; sweet chocolate syrup; raisins; molasses; light metallic overtones that are quite unpleasant; vanilla; possibly light menthol scents

t: powdered swiss miss chocolate; light alcohol; vanilla; coffee; dark chocolate; coke; again an unpleasant metallic taste though

m: ok; a little on the cloying syrupy side

d: very sweet and interesting but has very unenjoyable metallic aftertaste despite being a year from the exp date

 545 characters

Photo of jiggidy
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Popsinc
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured pitch black with a huge bronze head. Soem carbonation. Nose was big on roasted malts, some black licorice. Taste was to the sweet side. Again, black licorice was dominant. Nice malts. Very smooth, light bodied...a little too light bodied i would have to say. Lingering sweetness...a touch of raisin off the finish. Alcohol warmth. As far as a stout goes, i was looking for a little more body and fullness. Drinkable but not where i might want a stout to be.

 464 characters

Photo of xav33
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lion Stout
625 ml bottle
Recent bottling, savoured 09/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured black with a huge light brown frothy mostly lasting head with good lacing. Glass had a very dim brown tinge once finished.

Smelt of heavy chocolate, with light coffee, roasted malt, herbs and port.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet chocolate and light acidic fruitiness, followed by a lingering heavy bitter roasted taste, with tinges of clove honey, soy sauce and red wine. Mouthfeel was light, fizzy, oily, and the finish lightly alcoholic and heavily astringent.

Overall, a perfectly balanced foreign stout that packs a punch on aroma and taste, and hides the abv wonderfully.

Side Note: I've tried this with freshly squeezed mango juice, 1 part juice 1 part Lion Stout. The Sri Lankan locals apparently make a cocktail that involves mango juice, passion fruit and Lion Stout, but I haven't a clue where to get passion fruit. Close enough, the result was equally eye opening.

 989 characters

Photo of Mavajo
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Slightly opaque black color with a thin tan head that dissipates very quickly - light lacing. Nose is sweet with mild coffee/chocolate. I found the taste to be fairly simple and straightforward - mostly a roasted taste with some chocolate/coffee. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty easy drinking stout. There's nothing crazy about it, the alcohol is blended well and the taste is pretty simple and straightforward.

 480 characters

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2010

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance-Oily black, pitch black. 3 finger frothy beige head. Great retention and incredible lacing. Very nice looking.

Smell-Dark bitter chocolate and espresso notes, pretty generic, nothing special.

Taste-Roasted malts. Coffee remains in the middle of the tongue and followed by a sweeter milk chocolate. The alcohol is detected easily on the way down.

Mouthfeel-A little heavy, pretty smooth. Could use a little more carbonation.

Overall-It's a pretty generic beer. It's definitely good, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find this again when Old Rasputin is 7.99/4pk and easy to get.

 635 characters

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: A Sri Lankan Stout heavily endorsed by Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter? Bizarre. Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with the king of beasts adorning the label and various "quality" awards depicted on the neckband. Purchased as a single bottle from Three Cellars.

A: Pours an inky black with a generous tan-colored head. No apparent lacing.

S: Chocolate and caramel malts, dried fruit and wet cardboard.

T: Sweet chocolate malt with notes of earthy peat, smoke, and peppery spice. Suggestions of dried fruit -- primarily prunes -- come to mind. A touch of vanilla emerges on the back end. Finishes sweet and slightly astringent with a flash of well-concealed alcohol.

M: Velvety smooth on the palate.

D: I didn't find this Stout remarkably drinkable. Beware, the alcohol in this brew creeps up out of nowhere.

 821 characters

Photo of AGoodStout
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LuckyJohn
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Lion Stout from Ceylon / Lion Brewery Limited
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,623 ratings.
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